First, The Once and Future Witches, by Alix E. Harrow. I honestly don’t know that I’ve read a thing like it. It’s a wild, intensely-plotted, deeply researched, epic ride with three very different sisters. Think historical fiction + magic + fantasy + Salem + 19th century + feminism + witches + suffragettes + battle + sisterhood in ever so many forms. As a reader, my wish list is always an epic story which straddles multiple genre lines, envelops me in the rich details of place, and makes me feel — no matter the time period or how fantastical the themes or plot — that I am right there alongside its characters, the same wind in our faces. The Once and Future Witches did exactly this. Dear Reader: gather your family recipes, your broomsticks, and your women, and make ready.
Second, we lost my beloved mother-in-law in February. Anyone who has endured a death during this pandemic knows how rough is the deep sea of grief; how exhausting it is to manage family dynamics, Covid concerns, and the details of death. But our friends and family have buoyed us in their care.
That care includes this artisan sea-salted caramel from Stirred By Hand, out of Fort Mill, South Carolina, and brought to us by a friend. I didn’t think I liked caramel: I’ve never liked it before. I was wrong. These gourmet caramels — proceeds of which benefit organizations serving neglected children and mothers abroad and at home — are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I’ve not tasted anything like them. To make your mouth happy, and help folks in need, check out Stirred By Hand.
As we transition into spring, I hope the days ahead for you all include a good book and a bite of something sweet.